Student’s Corner

Climate Change

Over time we have more commonly begun to use the term climate change to describe what is happening to our planet. Simply calling it global warming is not enough as it only captures one aspect of the challenges we are facing. Occasionally reminding ourselves of this change in vocabulary is important to understand what needs to be done for the health of our planet and its inhabitants, as well as what will happen if we simply do nothing. But most importantly, it reminds us of why we need to take action, and that is because of all the things that are being impacted.

Global warming is a term that tells us that our earth is warming. However, with more research, awareness, and knowledge, we have learned that our impacts are connected in so many ways, which also means that something like warming affects plenty of other things in our daily lives. A warmer globe means melting ice caps, increased evaporation, warmer weather, but this also leads to more droughts, more floods, higher sea levels, increased humidity, etc.

Everything around us is changing, and much of it is due to our impact. This is why a term such as “climate change” better describes our circumstances. Britannica defines “climate” as “the usual weather conditions in a particular place or region”. Most, if not all, regions around the globe are experiencing changes to their “usuals”. Many places, including my home in southern Norway, are experiencing higher rates of unpredictability and more extremes. “Usual” is not a word used to describe the climate anymore because it changes so much each year. This unreliable change has many detrimental effects on many people, both directly and indirectly.

In other words, we changed our vocabulary because we needed a better way to describe the challenges we are facing. The earth is changing, and it will keep changing with a lack of effort from us. The changes we are facing are largely unpredictable and overwhelmingly widespread. Not to mention that they are all connected, meaning they easily create reinforcing loops. Our climate is changing, and we need to help it change slower.

Written by Zein Tynon, Class of 2024.

 

Photo Credits:

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/climate

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